It's not until you're broken that you find your sharpest edge.
"I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin."
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.
But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.
‘An excellent writer.’ George R.R. Martin
'If you like fresh, take-no-prisoners fantasy, this is for you'
No.1 New York Times bestselling author Rick Riordan
‘Dark, passionate, tense, with a female hero anyone could relate to–I was utterly fascinated! This is no pretty, flowery tale, but one of vastly different people struggling to survive when a hostile government comes to power’ – No.1 New York Times bestselling author Tamora Pierce
‘This is a book very distinct from everything that came before; what it has in common though is a narrative that pulls no punches, and characters that are beautifully, brokenly, repellently, cleverly human’ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews
‘I had never thought it was possible to find a greater character than the Emperor Jorg Ancrath. I had never even slightly considered that there might be a fantasy world out there toppling that of Τhe Final Empire, and most definitely, I had never thought that i could love a book more than The Night Angel. But here we are’ BookNest
‘Any other author is going to have to smack the ball way, way out of the park to top this read’ Parmenion Books
About the author
Mark Lawrence was born in Champagne-Urbanan, Illinois, to British parents but moved to the UK at the age of one. He went back to the US after taking a PhD in mathematics at Imperial College to work on a variety of research projects including the ‘Star Wars’ missile defence programme. Returning to the UK, he has worked mainly on image processing and decision/reasoning theory. He says he never had any ambition to be a writer so was very surprised when a half-hearted attempt to find an agent turned into a global publishing deal overnight. His first trilogy, The Broken Empire, has been universally acclaimed as a ground-breaking work of fantasy, and both Emperor of Thorns and The Liar’s Key have won the Gemmell Legend award for best fantasy novel. Mark is married, with four children, and lives in Bristol.
In offering sometimes small insights into his characters' inner lives, Lawrence elevates the second volume of his Ancestor epic fantasy series (after Red Sister) above similar books featuring a young woman who is separated from her family and taught to make the best use of her supernatural skills. Nona Grey, a peasant child who was sold into slavery, was found to have a rare combination of ancient talents including "manipulat the threads that are woven to create reality." Her gifts have been nurtured by her teachers at the Convent of Sweet Mercy, who train girls to become assassins (called Red Sisters), but following Nona's killing of a nobleman's son, she is targeted for death by his father. Lawrence's suspenseful account of Nona's efforts to complete her training and gain control over her powers balances action and introspection, and will keep readers hooked.
Riveting, reminds me a little of The Glass Throne by Sarah J Maas.